Hello! It’s been foorreevveerr!! (I will post later my full update of where I have been). But, anyways, HAPPY EASTER! In today's society we just go,go,go and never really stop to understand. We hop from one activity to the next trying to be entertained. (Come on, you know you do it! Movies? Music? Guys? I mean, is that not the whole point of dating? To be fulfilled for the moment? To enjoy each other for the week and a half you’re together? Then, on to the next one!?) My point in saying all this is, we view Easter as candy, chocolate bunnies, Easter eggs, bright colors, and good food right? But....what IS Easter?? If you try when you read it, you can almost see it.
Lets go back in time, before he died, in the garden of Gethsemane late Thursday night......
(* means that it is my interpretation of the passage)
*It was late that night in a beautiful garden. Torches light up the faces of the Roman soldiers holding spears by their sides, and Judas cowered in the shadows of the tall, brutal Roman army. You can hear loud and demanding voices of soldiers, and then the gentle voice of Jesus asking calmly, “Whom do you seek?" “Jesus of Nazareth" barks a tall guard. The gentle voice of the son of God answers calmly, "I am He." He is completely confident that his Father’s will is playing out to perfection. As Jesus says "I am He," Judas faints. He can’t believe that Jesus is so calm, and that He is just...standing there! Jesus peers at the ground and has a look at Judas. Then, He looks back at the guard, and calm as a cucumber, He asks again, "Whom do you seek?"
The tall guard answers again, "Jesus of Nazareth" (in his head he was probably like – What’s going on? What’s wrong with this guy? I'm pretty sure he is smart enough to know that he is like, facing death, and... scary dudes in skirts. He is so darn calm! It’s kind of insulting to my self-image, that he doesn't find me scary, or at least a little bit intimidating! :) Jesus replies, "I told you I am He. So, if it is me you want then let my friends go." Peter who had obviously had enough of the suspense and was NOT taking any more of it :) Grabbed his sword out of his sheath with a dramatic "shwing" just right out, and cut off the ear of the high priest's servant! Yes! Just cut off his ear! (By the way, the dude now missing an ear - thanks to Peter’s temper, was named Malchus.) Jesus looked at Peter with disappointment in his eye, said, "Put back your sword Peter, should I not embrace my father’s plan with open arms? After all He does see the big picture." Peter just stood and stared as they arrested Jesus. All the disciples followed as the soldiers led Jesus to speak with Caiaphas. Peter stood by the door. (Obviously he was curious what in the world they would possibly have to accuse the Prince of the universe with). The other disciples left the courtyard and one said to a servant girl- "Hey, you girl! Come here, I need to talk to you." She was probably like "Dude, I don't know what your problem is, but I ain’t leavin’ my post watching this door - you gonna have to come to ME!" So the disciples trudged up to the door and was like "look, see, I got a buddy over there (gesturing to Peter) who really needs to get in this door. "Whata ya say?" flashing his best smile. She replied “Oh, all right, but if I get in trouble, I'm calling on YOU!". She opened the door and motioning for Peter to come over across the court yard. Peter jogged over and slid in the door. The servant girl was like, "Heeyyy... your one of that guy’s disciples aren’t you? Peter began looking scared, "Who Me? Nooo, you got the wrong man." The servant looked skeptically at Peter "Okay, I guess." Peter walked a little ways and saw some people over by a fire warming there hands.
9 The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” 24 Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
*Peter was warming himself with the others while conducting small talk. Then someone asked him, “You’re one of that guy on trial’s disciples right? He said "NO way man, Not me." Then standing nearby, the servant who’s ear Peter had cut off asked, "Hey, dude, don’t I recognize you from somewhere? Yeah, yeah, now I remember! You were in the garden with him right?" Peter was probably realizing the servant was earless, and this one was a hard one to get out of. I mean, he cut off his ear! You’re gonna remember that face!:) But none the less he tried to deny it. At the very second that he denied it, the rooster crowed. Peter’s face crinkled into regret, “Crap, I did it! I denied knowing Jesus! Man, what a mess I have made this time”. He remembered Jesus telling him at dinner the other night, that he would deny him three times before the rooster crows.
28 Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor's headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor's headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” 32 This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
My Kingdom Is Not of This World
33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. 39 But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
*At this point the Bible tells it best, far better than I ever could. It is such a cool and interesting story!
1 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9 He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
12 From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 13 So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.
So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,
“They divided my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”
So the soldiers did these things, 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
The Death of Jesus
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Jesus' Side Is Pierced
31 Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. 36 For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”
Jesus Is Buried
38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.
*Super early on Sunday (like still dark early), two days after Jesus death, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb. She saw the stone had been rolled away. (Can you just see Mary’s jaw drop and the tears start pouring?) She ran back home to Peter. "Peter! Peter! They took Jesus! I have no idea where they took him! Come with me! See if you can find him." They both sprinted over to the tomb. They got there and Peter stuck his head in the opening to look around (can you imagine the smell?) Peter saw all the linens that covered his beaten and bruised body, but there was no body! (Where'd it go? A dead body just can’t up and walk away!) Before this, Peter did not understand the prophecy "He should rise from the dead". When he saw this, he believed it. The disciples got tired of waiting for a dead body to appear - or something, so they left and went home. Not Mary; she stood there and just cried. Her heart was to the point where she just couldn't take anymore. She looked up into the tomb and saw....ANGELS! Two of ‘em. They said, "Hey lady! Why are you crying?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord’s body, and I have NO idea where they have taken him! THAT, is why I'm crying! Got any other suggestions?" Then she turned around and saw Jesus, but she did not know it was him. Jesus said "Why are you crying?" and “Who are you looking for?" She was thinking he was the gardener, so she said, "If you have put him some where please just tell me were, I will get him and take him some where else. Just please tell me were he is!" Jesus said to her "Mary". He just simply said her name and she KNEW who He was. Her face lit up like a Christmas tree, "TEACHER!" she said as she began hugging him. He said to her, "don't waist time hugging me, go tell my brothers that I am alive.” Mary went home, and told the disciples that he is alive! She also told them everything else he had told her.
19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
Jesus and Thomas
24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The Purpose of This Book
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Is that not a beautiful story? I love it. While He was carrying the cross on His back, did you ever think He was carrying your cross for you, and mine for me? I mean, it could not have been His cross, because the man was perfect; He had no cross.
WE hung him there.WE nailed him there. WE killed him.
In Him who conquered death forever - Starz*